Health self-management experiences of colorectal cancer patients in postoperative recovery: A qualitative study.

Affiliation

Lo PS(1), Lin YP(2), Hsu HH(3), Chang SC(4), Yang SP(5), Huang WC(6), Wang TJ(7).
Author information:
(1)Cultivation and Management Center, MacKay Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Nursing Department, Oriental Institution of Technology, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)Department of Colorectal Surgery, MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)Davison of Colorectal Surgery, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]
(5)Nursing Department, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]
(6)Department of Thoracic Surgery, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]
(7)School of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

PURPOSE: Health self-management helps improve health-related quality of life and life satisfaction, as well as cancer survival. The study aim was to explore the essence of the health self-management experiences and support needs of colorectal cancer patients after surgeries. METHODS: The study was based on phenomenology research methodology. Purposive sampling was used to obtain a heterogeneous sample to provide rich information regarding the research questions. Participants were recruited from colorectal surgery outpatient clinics in a hospital in Taiwan. Data were collected by semi-structured in-depth interviews and analyzed by thematic content analysis. Strategies adapted from Lincoln and Guba were used to enhance the trustworthiness of the study. RESULTS: Ten participants, 5 males and 5 females, were interviewed. Their health self-management experience fell into 3 overarching themes and 9 related subthemes. Our results show that (1) seeking support when experiencing discomfort, (2) when life changes, re-adjust accordingly, and (3) staying positive and self-perseverance are the essences of the health self-management experiences and support needs of postoperative colorectal cancer patients. CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative colorectal cancer patients experienced tremendous physical and psychosocial challenges after returning home from the hospital. Although burdened with multiple stressors, these patients were able to seek support, learning to practice self-care, facing cancer positively, and exhibit positive growth in life. Patients with colorectal cancer have to constantly adjust to the impacts of their diseases. The study results may provide as a reference for supporting postoperative adjustment and promoting health self-management among patients with colorectal cancer.